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VALERIE1619's Photo VALERIE1619 Posts: 970
7/12/13 1:08 P

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A low carb approach is the ONLY WAY I've been able to lose weight while on insulin.

My mantra is: Diabetes is a carbohydrate intolerance disease.

So why would I feed my body foods that require me to use more (fat-storing) insulin?

If you're contemplating a low carb diet, just try it! Consider what foods you're injecting for when you carb count. If you don't eat the carbs, you don't need the extra insulin!

If you cut carbs, just be aware that you have the potential to go low until your adjust your insulin to reflect the change, especially if you're using Lantus, or another long-lasting basal insulin.


Valerie
type 1 diabetic,
showing this disease who's boss!

February 2013: NEW GOAL! I've lost 60 pounds to date, so it's time to kick these last few to the curb!


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SHORTYGETFIT's Photo SHORTYGETFIT Posts: 477
4/10/13 10:28 P

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Welcome to the group, that was a great explanation. It is pretty much what my nurse was telling me. It's how I use the insulin that drives the answer to this question.

" Sometimes God places people in your life who help and encourage you even when they don't know it"


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ALIALI2013's Photo ALIALI2013 SparkPoints: (23,608)
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4/9/13 6:06 P

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I had to comment on this (sorry I'm late just found this team), but in a round about way, insulin can make you gain weight, especially if you're giving yourself more than you need, or don't have control of your BS. I've been Type 1 since 1975 and I have found that as long as my BS are in good shape, I am able to maintain my weight, even lose, however, if I end up giving myself more insulin than I need, and am eating more (thus causing the weight gain) the more insulin I take the more my weight goes up. On the other hand, once your blood sugars get out of control you may lose weight, but NEVER in a healthy way....I went from 140 to 98 pounds in a weeks time and I looked horrible (at 5'8 that's near anorexic!).

Please keep in mind that no matter what you do, strive for the best BS level you possibly can, this is the best way to ensure you are losing weight the right way and still staying healthy. I've known a person who's died from low blood sugar and another who passed from high blood sugar and neither is a way you wish to go. Good luck.

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JULIERUN1 SparkPoints: (12)
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2/5/13 7:41 P

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Has anyone tried a low-carb diet to lose weight? I am on a pump and take very little insulin and exercise regularly but can barely shed any weight. Am looking for any suggestions/success stories!

SHORTYGETFIT's Photo SHORTYGETFIT Posts: 477
10/21/12 4:10 P

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My short story...my nurse says no. I say if I had better control of my eating habits, I could agree with her. With a more balanced diet and some control, I believe that I could continue to take my insulin and lose weight. I do know that insulin is my lifeline, so I'm not giving it up.



" Sometimes God places people in your life who help and encourage you even when they don't know it"


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SUPERDUPER26's Photo SUPERDUPER26 Posts: 1,553
10/19/12 9:09 P

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Insulin is like water- you need it to live. There should be no emotional involvement with it (occasional gratitude is okay : P ) , it just is what it is.
Don't waste your energy being scared of it, but put your effort into learning how it works. There's a million different combinations of delivery methods (syringe, pen, pump), types of insulin (fast, slow, in-between), rates and ratios (carb to insulin, correction, basal), and while there is a steep learning curve, it really does get easier over time after you learn to mix and match what does and doesn't work for you. Its not necessarily fun, but it does get easier. And, because there's so many options, if you find after a few months that something doesn't work for you, you can try something else.

Your footer says you got your A1C down to 6.6, which sure, might not be perfect, but I can tell you that I am still alive and well with no complications after 21 years of insulin and I haven't had an A1C below 7... EVER. Doctors, magazines, websites, ADA-- they all have recommended targets you should strive for, and yes, lower is better (in general)-- but you should make the changes when and where you can and don't stress about getting every target every time. If you think of it like school, in theory we would have learned everything in every subject and gotten 100% on every test, and thus graduated with straight As. I don't know about you, but I was not a straight A student, and I turned out okay.
I'm not trying to say don't put forth effort into taking care of yourself, but you can only control certain parts of this disease, and I promise you its counter-productive to beat yourself up over the other bits.

Good luck with the 30 pounds, it might be a little slower to come off than you like, but keep at it and you'll get there!

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10/19/12 5:53 P

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Thanks for the Info. I'm so new to all of this and I want to lose 30 lbs by my b-day in Jan. so I'm concerned about being on insulin for that and so many other reasons. so thanks you helped alot.

Wed. OCT. 10th- Checked my AC1 went form 9 nine months ago to 6.6 finally some good news. All the tracking and work was not for-not after all
My glucose # are still high, Fasting # first thing in he mornings still to high any ideas?


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SUPERDUPER26's Photo SUPERDUPER26 Posts: 1,553
10/18/12 3:43 P

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This is my understanding, and what I've cobbled together from various discussions with my Dr over the last few years:
1. Yes, insulin is a growth hormone, but
2. No, insulin BY ITSELF can not cause weight gain or loss

Insulin's role is to help your body convert glucose (which contains calories) into energy, right? The pink panther book I got in 3rd grade when I was diagnosed explained insulin as the "key" to let the sugar into your cells so your cells have energy. Without enough insulin, the sugar runs around in your bloodstream but can't get into your cells and your cells think you're starving to death.
Without glucose/calories to work with, insulin won't do anything weight-wise (clarification: insulin will still very much lower your BG, but thats to be expected and a side-issue to this conversation).

The insulin you take to balance your BG can/will help you "absorb" the food you've eaten. Although it might seem as though the insulin is causing the weight gain, the insulin is really just facilitating the storage/usage of what you've eaten and the actual cause is still just too many calories going in. If you eat more than you should (and there's no one-size-fits-all number here), even if your BG is stable because you are appropriately matching your carbs to insulin, you can/will gain weight.
If you take too little insulin and/or your BG remains high, you can lose weight but only because your cells aren't getting the energy you're eating. (When done intentionally, this is known as diabulimia.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabulimia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabulimia ) While this may show up on your scale as lost pounds, there's so many possible side effects (DKA, kidney failure, blindness, etc) that I can't fathom how someone could actually think this was a valid idea.

That being said though, I don't think you'll find a single one of us on here who thinks its easy to lose weight on insulin, and to that my own personal theory is that the idea that you need to create a 3500-calorie deficit to lose a pound is based on a system with a well-functioning, and in-balance, metabolic system, which none of us on this board have. Yes, I can adjust my insulin daily to match the carbs and exercise I've gotten, but if I goof up and count wrong or go too far or not far enough or what-have-you, it makes it that much harder for all of the other systems that go into play to actually burn off those calories. (Not to mention the extra calories from treating hypos, grrrrr.) And, the pancreas and islet cells don't just produce insulin- there's other hormones/chemicals involved in the process (amylin, somatostatin, and some others I don't remember) and without those, even if you can keep your BG in check, you're still missing out on a few other hormones that help keep everything working in smooth order for normal people.

On a more positive note though, insulin in appropriate doses (appropriate to your particular life/body/activity/food choices) can help you lose weight if that is one of the missing pieces of a goofy metabolic system.

If you ask Google, insulin will make definitely make you gain weight, and will definitely help you lose weight. but it can also (according to some) cause hair loss and acne, so investigate at your own risk, and like everything else- your diabetes mileage may vary!

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10/12/12 8:44 P

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I've heard that injecting insulin can make you gain weight, I've heard it makes you loose weight. Does anyone know which is true. Or does it not effect weight at all?

Wed. OCT. 10th- Checked my AC1 went form 9 nine months ago to 6.6 finally some good news. All the tracking and work was not for-not after all
My glucose # are still high, Fasting # first thing in he mornings still to high any ideas?


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